Raytheon recently won an $11 million contract for a Humvee-mounted DEW and Boeing’s thin-disk laser technology has officially achieved DEW status with its 30 k W output. Curran
says that although the current market outlook is flat as the
number of weapons platforms has been reduced, he sees great
long-term potential for DEWs as military spending rises.
Entertainment and displays
In late 2013, Christie (Cypress, CA) was chosen to supply and
install the world’s first commercial digital laser projector at
the Seattle Cinerama Theatre (although Moody Gardens in
Galveston, TX said it was the first to install a Christie 6P laser
projector for its D3D audience). Cinerama moviegoers attending the November 20, 2014 screening of “The Hunger Games:
Mockingjay – Part I” were illuminated by the 4K, 60,000 lumen,
6P dual-head projector and tweeted various accolades, although
most of them commented on the beer and chocolate popcorn
rather than picture quality. Nonetheless, sessions such as “The
Digital Cinema Laser Battle” at InfoComm 2014 saw nothing
but future growth in this lumen-rich, high-reliability, low-con-
sumable-cost, and energy efficient laser entertainment industry.
“This was a very exciting year for lasers,” says Greg Niven,
Necsel (Milpitas, CA) VP of sales and marketing and chair of
the Laser Illuminated Projector Association (LIPA; San Jose, CA).
“It’s not often that we get to witness the launch of a completely
new market segment that will literally get millions of eyeballs
seeing high-power visible lasers via both large-venue cinema
projectors and low-lumen office data projectors. This is just the
beginning of a variety of new laser-based lighting applications.”
As laser cinema continues its penetration and laser tag are-
nas multiply, laser light show revenues continue their solid
growth. In fact, many municipalities are considering “snuff-
ing out” their polluting, solid-waste-generating fireworks dis-
plays in favor of laser light shows. With all the laser fun to be
had, we forecast laser sales for entertainment and display ap-
plications to grow nearly 11% to $197 million in 2015.
From 2013 to 2018, CCS Insight (Slough, England) says printer
shipments will increase from 106 million to 124 million units
(compound annual growth rate of 3.1%), with 50% of those
printers being multifunction inkjet varieties. The fastest-grow-ing printer type is laser multifunction units, rising to 30 million
decline, and stiff price competition erodes the enthusiasm. For
2015, we forecast lasers used for image recording applications
to drop slightly from $67 million in 2014 to $66 million.
Image recording & printing
This category includes lasers for commercial pre-press systems
and photofinishing, as well as conventional laser printers for
consumer and commercial applications.
Sales of diode lasers used in commercial printing are in decline.
The creation of application stores and audio and video streaming
to the Cloud have largely reduced the need for physical image
storage. Printing for consumer packaging requirements continues
to keep this segment afloat, although not thriving.
2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 Year
Entertainment & displays
Includes lasers used for light shows, games, digital cinema, front
and rear projectors, picoprojectors, and laser pointers.
The majority of laser revenue in this segment is for laser light
shows, and this business has been booming the last few years.
Faster galvanometers, lower-cost diode lasers in a multitude of
colors, and better safety measures have made laser light show
hardware available to more applications at much lower costs.
Outside of light shows, a few other laser display applications
are just in their infancy. Laser light sources for movie projection
are just now becoming commercially available, and many
laser-powered theaters are set to open this year. For business
projectors and even some residential high-end projection TVs,
lasers have been used for several years now. Although small,
laser usage is growing.
2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 Year